Portsmouth City Council Approves Ban On Styrofoam Disposables

Oct 8, 2019

Portsmouth's new ordinance will also ban the distribution of single-use plastic straws and containers, but only on city property.
Credit Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Portsmouth became the latest U.S. city to ban the use of some disposable plastic containers after the City Council voted Monday night to outlaw Styrofoam city-wide.

Supporters of the new law say they believe it’s the first of its kind in New Hampshire.

The ordinance will take effect at the end of next year. It’ll ban most Portsmouth businesses – except some nonprofits – from distributing single-use Styrofoam.

It’ll also ban the distribution of single-use plastic straws and containers, but only on city property.

A Portsmouth committee still needs to determine a fine for violating the ordinance. 

It passed with some opposition from city officials who worry the bans will be challenged in court, or will be bad for local businesses.

But many residents and environmental groups, including from Portsmouth High School, celebrated the vote. They hope it will lay the groundwork for more, similar regulations in the future.

Activists also urged legislators to pass statewide bans on single-use plastics earlier this year. Those proposals died in the state Senate.